Office of Study Abroad and Outreach

Cannabis and Culture in Amsterdam


Cannabis & Culture in Amsterdam

The Netherlands has a history with cannabis dating back to the 1920s, when the plant was legal in their colonies.  From then to now, there have been various levels of legality and permissiveness in the use of cannabis in the country.  Dutch coffeeshops, businesses where the  purchase of marijuana is allowed, started appearing in Amsterdam in the 1970s.  The culture of these shops is changing as more and more people visit Amsterdam for cannabis-related tourism and are disrespectful of the cannabis consumption cultre in the Netherlands.  Explore how American culture and attitudes related to cannabis consumption may also change over time as legalization of cannabis becomes more widespread in the US.

Location(s)  Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Term   Spring 2022

Choice of:

  • ANTH 379, 3 sh
  • ANTH 679, 3 sh
  • LAS 379, 3 sh
  • LAS 679, 3 sh
Class Sessions Spring 2022.  Exact dates/times/location TBA 
Travel Dates May 20-30, 2022
Housing   Hostels/hotels
Passport Required
Visa (for US citizens) Not required
GPA 2.5
Hours completed 12
Student Conduct Good status
Grad credit Yes
Non-WIU   Yes
Student Year Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate

Entry Requirements

Passport required--must be valid until November 30, 2022. For information on how to apply for or renew a passport, see Passports 101 .
Current passport processing times are 12-18 weeks.  Plan accordingly to avoid issues obtaining your visa, airine tickets, and other necessary items for travel.  Failure to receive your passport in time can lead to postponement of your program.

Visa required if not a US citizen.  It is your responsibility to check the  Dutch Consulate General in Chicago's website for more information.  Visa costs not included in program cost.

Health Insurance

You must have international health insurance for the time you are on your program. Only two options are approved to meet this requirement:

Health Precautions

COVID-19 - You are REQUIRED to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in this program.  Proof of vaccination will be required prior to acceptance of your deposit.

Walking/mobility/travel - Expect to walk 5-8 miles/day.  It is not consecutive but scheduled throughout the day, sometimes over uneven terrain and up/down flights of stairs.  You will also be responsible for moving your own luggage. 

Environmental - Average daytime temperatures are in the low to mid-60s for this time period.  Excursions and some portions of the Course will be conducted outside, rain or shine.  Sun protection is strongly recommended. 

Dietary - Some meals are included in the program cost. Contact Kim McDaniel  if you have food allergies or other dietary restrictions.

Vaccinations - No vaccinations are required for entry into the Netherlands.  Up to date vaccination recommendations are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website .

Accessability and accommodation are very different than than found in the United States.  Please contact Disability Resources for questions on the availability of accommodations for your specific situation.

PLEASE NOTE   It is your responsibility to request accommodation from DR; faculty and staff are not legally permitted to inquire about such needs.  Requests should be made as early as possible to allow sufficient time to arrange accommodations in your location.


Costs & Important Dates

Estimated Cost* $3,500-$3,900  based on similar programs
Included in the program Roundtrip airfare from Chicago, in-country transportation, multi-bedded lodging, entry fees to scheduled sites, some meals
Application Deadline October 31, 2021
Commitment fee
$75 due November 30, 2021
Non-refundable deposit $1,000 due December 1, 2021
Second payment $1,000 due January 2022
Final Payment Balance due March 2022

*Costs subject to change based on student enrollment, exchange fluctuation and flight costs

WIU reserves the right to adjust the cost or arrangements of this program due to insufficient enrollment or circumstances beyond the University's control.  For details about this or individual withdrawals, see Cancellations and Withdrawals .

Important Dates

Passport copy deadline:  January 2022  Failure to meet this deadline will result in removal from the group flight and increased costs. 

MANDATORY Pre-departure meeting: TBA, Spring 2022



Credit offered

ANTH 379 - Can be used as a substitute for ANTH 201 or ANTH 305 or as a Directed elective for Anthropology majors/minors

ANTH 679 - Can count towards completion of a MA in Sociology

LAS 379 - Counts as an upper-division elective for LAS majors/minors

LAS 679 - Counts toward completion of a MLAS

Please check with your academic advisor for more information on how this Course fits your specific academic needs.


  • Learn the history behind cannabis use in the Netherlands and why that is an important cultural issue
  • Compare and contrast social justice outcomes of legalization of cannabis in the US versus the Netherlands
  • Explore the political culture of the Netherlands in comparison to the US
  • Visit major landmarks including the Van Gogh museum, the Riksmuseum, and the Anne Frank Haus. 


Class sessions

Active class participation, including contribution to discussions and attendance, is expected in all phases of the Course.  You are responsible for completing pre-departure assignments including readings and discussion participation, attendance and active participation during on-site visits, guest lectures and activities, and post-return assignments.  Questions about course content should be directed to Dr. Heather McIlvaine-Newsad or Dr. Sarah Haynes .

Student testimonials

Coming soon!






Contact Us

Kim McDaniel
For Faculty Led

Horrabin Room 8


Advising appointments

Dr. Heather McIlvaine-Newsad
Faculty leader

Morgan Room 408



Dr. Sarah Haynes
Faculty leader

Morgan Hall


Information Sessions

September 9, 3:30 pm, Zoom

October 4, 12 pm, Zoom

Registration required: registration form

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